The cost of nursing school depends on a wide variety of factors including the type of school you attend (public vs. private), the type of program you choose (certificate vs. degree program), where you live (state resident vs. non-resident), and whether you commute or live on campus. With this in mind, aspiring nursing professionals can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000+ per semester for tuition fees. Other expenses include $200-1,000 per semester for books and supplies, several thousand dollars per semester for housing, $2,500-10,000 per year for health insurance and living expenses, and a nominal fee of $50-200 for California nursing exams and licenses.

Thankfully the nursing profession is one of the most lucrative and stable career fields in the healthcare industry, and California's nurses are at the very top of the pay scale. California-based RNs average an impressive median salary of $94,310 per year, while licensed vocational nurses in the state average $51,620 per year. If you decide to begin your career as a certified nursing assistant, you can expect to earn a median salary of $28,210 per year.

This means that no matter your choice of California nursing school, you can expect to earn an excellent return on your investment.

Below we've listed the California nursing schools that offer some of the region’s top accredited programs, and we've ranked them in order of the cost of attendance.

Fresno

Gurnick Academy - Fresno
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (13-month program): tuition and fees $28,510, books and supplies $900, room and board $14,625
Clovis Adult Education
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (18-month program): tuition and fees $6,000, books and supplies $2,840, room and board $19,800
School Program Length Tuition & fees
Gurnick Academy - Fresno Certificate in Vocational Nursing 13 months $28,510
Clovis Adult Education Certificate in Vocational Nursing 18 months $6,000

Inland Empire

American Career College - Ontario
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (14-month program): tuition and fees $34,110, books and supplies $0, room and board $17,052
Summit College
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (13-month program): tuition and fees $29,400, books and supplies $722, room and board $15,691
Nursing Assistant Certificate (14-month program): tuition and fees $798, books and supplies $0
California Nurses Educational Institute
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (17-month program): tuition and fees $29,000, books and supplies $300, room and board $20,097
Nursing Assistant Certificate (3-month program): tuition and fees $2,400, books and supplies $100
Concorde Career College - San Bernardino
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (13-month program): tuition and fees $28,806, books and supplies $2,785, room and board $15,225
Career Care Institute - Moreno Valley
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (14-month program): tuition and fees $27,888, books and supplies $1,032, room and board $16,072
North-West College - Riverside
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (15-month program): tuition and fees $27,662, books and supplies $1,450, room and board $18,270
Beaumont Adult School
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (18-month program): tuition and fees $21,020, books and supplies $4,988, room and board $21,924
Nursing Assistant Certificate (6-month program): tuition and fees $2,897, books and supplies $803
Colton-Redlands-Yucaipa Regional Occupational Program
Nursing Assistant Certificate (4-month program): tuition and fees $1,280, books and supplies $337
School Program Length Tuition & fees
American Career College - Ontario Certificate in Vocational Nursing 14 months $34,110
Summit College Certificate in Vocational Nursing 13 months $29,400
Nursing Assistant Certificate 14 months $798
California Nurses Educational Institute Certificate in Vocational Nursing 17 months $29,000
Nursing Assistant Certificate 3 months $2,400
Concorde Career College - San Bernardino Certificate in Vocational Nursing 13 months $28,806
Career Care Institute - Moreno Valley Certificate in Vocational Nursing 14 months $27,888
North-West College - Riverside Certificate in Vocational Nursing 15 months $27,662
Beaumont Adult School Certificate in Vocational Nursing 18 months $21,020
Nursing Assistant Certificate 6 months $2,897
Colton-Redlands-Yucaipa Regional Occupational Program Nursing Assistant Certificate 4 months $1,280

Los Angeles County

American Career College
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (14-month program): tuition and fees $34,110, books and supplies $0, room and board $17,052
Stanbridge University - Los Angeles
Diploma in Vocational Nursing (13-month program): tuition and fees $32,105, books and supplies $1,805, room and board $6,500
Glendale Career College
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (16-month program): tuition and fees $29,400, books and supplies $0, room and board $19,488
Concorde Career College - North Hollywood
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (13-month program): tuition and fees $29,383, books and supplies $3,053, room and board $15,225
Advanced College
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (13-month program): tuition and fees $28,595, books and supplies $1,516, room and board $10,283
Homestead Schools
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (12-month program): tuition and fees $28,500, books and supplies $0, room and board $12,144
Annenberg School of Nursing
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (12-month program): tuition and fees $28,390, books and supplies $1,210, room and board $19,476
Career Care Institute
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (14-month program): tuition and fees $27,888, books and supplies $1,032, room and board $16,072
North-West College - Van Nuys
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (15-month program): tuition and fees $27,622, books and supplies $1,450
North-West College - Long Beach
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (15-month program): tuition and fees $27,622, books and supplies $1,450
North-West College - Pomona Valley
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (15-month program): tuition and fees $27,622, books and supplies $1,450
Angeles College
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (11-month program): tuition and fees $26,720, books and supplies $630, room and board $11,250
Angeles College - City of Industry
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (11-month program): tuition and fees $26,720, books and supplies $630, room and board $11,250
Nursing Assistant Certificate (2-month program): tuition and fees $2,765, books and supplies $185
North-West College
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (15-month program): tuition and fees $26,622, books and supplies $1,450, room and board $18,270
Career Development Institute
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (13-month program): tuition and fees $26,483, books and supplies $1,587, room and board $16,377
Nursing Assistant Certificate (2-month program): tuition and fees $2,879, books and supplies $671
Premiere Career College
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (15-month program): tuition and fees $24,843, books and supplies $6,649, room and board $14,715
CES College
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (15-month program): tuition and fees $24,125, books and supplies $552, room and board $18,105
Healthcare Career College
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (14-month program): tuition and fees $24,100, books and supplies $2,800
Nursing Assistant Certificate (2-month program): tuition and fees $2,075, books and supplies $200
Medical Allied Career Center
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (13-month program): tuition and fees $23,997, books and supplies $1,628, room and board $15,834
Angeles Institute
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (10-month program): tuition and fees $22,950, books and supplies $3,229, room and board $10,000
Marian College
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (18-month program): tuition and fees $22,318, books and supplies $2,682, room and board $21,315
Marian College - Van Nuys
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (18-month program): tuition and fees $22,318, books and supplies $2,682, room and board $21,315
California Career College
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (18-month program): tuition and fees $21,701, books and supplies $250, room and board $0
University of Antelope Valley
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (14-month program): tuition and fees $21,450, books and supplies $1,200
Downey Adult School
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (12-month program): tuition and fees $10,225, books and supplies $205
Hacienda La Puente Adult Education
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (12-month program): tuition and fees $7,530, books and supplies $1,521
East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Program
Nursing Assistant Certificate (6-month program): tuition and fees $3,766, books and supplies $0
East Los Angeles Occupational Center
Nursing Assistant Certificate (1-month program): tuition and fees $250, books and supplies $0
School Program Length Tuition & fees
American Career College Certificate in Vocational Nursing 14 months $34,110
Stanbridge University - Los Angeles Diploma in Vocational Nursing 13 months $32,105
Glendale Career College Certificate in Vocational Nursing 16 months $29,400
Concorde Career College - North Hollywood Certificate in Vocational Nursing 13 months $29,383
Advanced College Certificate in Vocational Nursing 13 months $28,595
Homestead Schools Certificate in Vocational Nursing 12 months $28,500
Annenberg School of Nursing Certificate in Vocational Nursing 12 months $28,390
Career Care Institute Certificate in Vocational Nursing 14 months $27,888
North-West College - Van Nuys Certificate in Vocational Nursing 15 months $27,622
North-West College - Long Beach Certificate in Vocational Nursing 15 months $27,622
North-West College - Pomona Valley Certificate in Vocational Nursing 15 months $27,622
Angeles College Certificate in Vocational Nursing 11 months $26,720
Angeles College - City of Industry Certificate in Vocational Nursing 11 months $26,720
Nursing Assistant Certificate 2 months $2,765
North-West College Certificate in Vocational Nursing 15 months $26,622
Career Development Institute Certificate in Vocational Nursing 13 months $26,483
Nursing Assistant Certificate 2 months $2,879
Premiere Career College Certificate in Vocational Nursing 15 months $24,843
CES College Certificate in Vocational Nursing 15 months $24,125
Healthcare Career College Certificate in Vocational Nursing 14 months $24,100
Nursing Assistant Certificate 2 months $2,075
Medical Allied Career Center Certificate in Vocational Nursing 13 months $23,997
Angeles Institute Certificate in Vocational Nursing 10 months $22,950
Marian College Certificate in Vocational Nursing 18 months $22,318
Marian College - Van Nuys Certificate in Vocational Nursing 18 months $22,318
California Career College Certificate in Vocational Nursing 18 months $21,701
University of Antelope Valley Certificate in Vocational Nursing 14 months $21,450
Downey Adult School Certificate in Vocational Nursing 12 months $10,225
Hacienda La Puente Adult Education Certificate in Vocational Nursing 12 months $7,530
East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Program Nursing Assistant Certificate 6 months $3,766
East Los Angeles Occupational Center Nursing Assistant Certificate 1 months $250

Modesto

Advanced College - Salida
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (13-month program): tuition and fees $28,595, books and supplies $1,516, room and board $10,283
Gurnick Academy - Modesto
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (13-month program): tuition and fees $28,510, books and supplies $900, room and board $14,625
School Program Length Tuition & fees
Advanced College - Salida Certificate in Vocational Nursing 13 months $28,595
Gurnick Academy - Modesto Certificate in Vocational Nursing 13 months $28,510

Orange County

American Career College - Orange County
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (14-month program): tuition and fees $34,110, books and supplies $0, room and board $17,052
Stanbridge University
Diploma in Vocational Nursing (13-month program): tuition and fees $32,105, books and supplies $1,805, room and board $6,500
Concorde Career College - Garden Grove
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (12-month program): tuition and fees $31,440, books and supplies $2,559, room and board $14,616
CNI College
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (12-month program): tuition and fees $31,112, books and supplies $2,956, room and board $14,484
Pacific College
Diploma in Vocational Nursing (13-month program): tuition and fees $28,500, books and supplies $0, room and board $13,000
North-West College - Anaheim
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (15-month program): tuition and fees $27,622, books and supplies $1,450
School Program Length Tuition & fees
American Career College - Orange County Certificate in Vocational Nursing 14 months $34,110
Stanbridge University Diploma in Vocational Nursing 13 months $32,105
Concorde Career College - Garden Grove Certificate in Vocational Nursing 12 months $31,440
CNI College Certificate in Vocational Nursing 12 months $31,112
Pacific College Diploma in Vocational Nursing 13 months $28,500
North-West College - Anaheim Certificate in Vocational Nursing 15 months $27,622

Oxnard / Thousand Oaks / Ventura area

Career Care Institute - Oxnard
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (14-month program): tuition and fees $27,888, books and supplies $1,032, room and board $16,072
School Program Length Tuition & fees
Career Care Institute - Oxnard Certificate in Vocational Nursing 14 months $27,888

Sacramento

Carrington College - Sacramento
Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing (21-month program): tuition and fees $50,514, books and supplies $2,567
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (15-month program): tuition and fees $42,870, books and supplies $2,007
Charles A. Jones Career & Education Center
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (9-month program): tuition and fees $18,250, books and supplies $950
School Program Length Tuition & fees
Carrington College - Sacramento Associate of Science in Vocational Nursing 21 months $50,514
Certificate in Vocational Nursing 15 months $42,870
Charles A. Jones Career & Education Center Certificate in Vocational Nursing 9 months $18,250

San Diego County

Concorde Career College - San Diego
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (13-month program): tuition and fees $30,717, books and supplies $2,885, room and board $15,225
Summit College - El Cajon
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (13-month program): tuition and fees $29,400, books and supplies $722, room and board $15,691
School Program Length Tuition & fees
Concorde Career College - San Diego Certificate in Vocational Nursing 13 months $30,717
Summit College - El Cajon Certificate in Vocational Nursing 13 months $29,400

San Francisco Bay metro area

Carrington College - San Jose
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (15-month program): tuition and fees $42,870, books and supplies $2,007
Gurnick Academy
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (13-month program): tuition and fees $28,510, books and supplies $900, room and board $14,625
Gurnick Academy - Concord
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (13-month program): tuition and fees $28,510, books and supplies $900, room and board $14,625
School Program Length Tuition & fees
Carrington College - San Jose Certificate in Vocational Nursing 15 months $42,870
Gurnick Academy Certificate in Vocational Nursing 13 months $28,510
Gurnick Academy - Concord Certificate in Vocational Nursing 13 months $28,510

Stockton

Advanced College - Stockton
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (13-month program): tuition and fees $28,595, books and supplies $1,516, room and board $10,283
School Program Length Tuition & fees
Advanced College - Stockton Certificate in Vocational Nursing 13 months $28,595

Vallejo / Fairfield area

Blake Austin College
Certificate in Vocational Nursing (13-month program): tuition and fees $33,372, books and supplies $3,860, room and board $10,275
School Program Length Tuition & fees
Blake Austin College Certificate in Vocational Nursing 13 months $33,372

Other California cities

Hanford Adult School
Nursing Assistant Certificate (4-month program): tuition and fees $800, books and supplies $0
School Program Length Tuition & fees
Hanford Adult School Nursing Assistant Certificate 4 months $800
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California